The Geology Book -- study guide: Lesson 3

of Contents

Lesson 1
Planet Earth
Lesson 2
The Ground We Stand Upon
Lesson 3
The Earth’s Surface
Lesson 4
Erosion / Deposition
Lesson 5
Sediments / Fossilization
Lesson 6
Volcanism / Deformation of rocks / Continents
Lesson 7
Metamorphism / Radioisotope Decay
Lesson 8
Ways to date the Earth
Lesson 9
Great geologic events of the past
Lesson 10
Questions people ask

The Geology Book

The Geology Book
by Dr John D Morris

Lesson 3

The Earth’s Surface


The Geology Book


pp. 20-27


Genesis 8:4
Psalm 121

Vocabulary Words:

  • Sediment
  • Alluvial sediment
  • Continental shield
  • Canyon


  1. Give a brief description of the seven kinds of plains discussed in this chapter.
  2. Three types of plateaus are mentioned. Write a short description of each type and give an example of each type.
  3. Write a short description of how mountains are formed, and give an example of each type.
  4. Name two erosional features, and write a brief description of each type.


This “experiment” will take a few weeks. Erect a mound of dirt in your backyard (pile of dirt should be at least three feet high). Visit the mound each day and record the following information: height of mound, width of mound. You will notice that the mound will get shorter and the base wider. Determine what could have caused the difference in height and width. Was it the wind? Was it rain? Was it a dry-spell? Etc.

Footprints in the Ash,
by John Morris
and Steven A. Austin

Additional resources:


  1. Low-lying: formed when moving water deposits sediment a few hundred feet above or below sea level; alluvial plain: sediments deposited when water slows down; coastal plain: flat areas upriver or uphill from an alluvial plain—may have been uplifted or sea level dropped since deposition; lake plains: deposits in a lake bed that are later exposed; glacial plains: sediments deposited by ice melt on flat areas eroded by ice; lava plains: hardened leveled lava; offshore deposits: sediments distributed offshore by strong currents
  2. Fault: rock is broken and shoved up (Colorado Plateau); warped: regional squeezing or slow uplift (Appalachian mountains); lava: hardened lava plains that may have been uplifted or hardened at the current level (Columbia River basalts)
  3. Folded: layers of sediments that have been crumpled by pressures from the side (Alps, Himalayas, Appalachians, Rocky Mountains); Domed: sediments pushed up from below (Black Hills of South Dakota); fault block: one area of sediments are pushed up (Grand Teton Mountains); volcanic: molten lavas pushed out to the surface of the earth (Hawaii’s volcanic islands, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mount Ararat)
  4. Canyons: streams and rivers carve out areas in rocks; continental shield: the exposed granite core of continents due to glacial flow scraping off the overlying sedimentary rock